I’ve been thinking about this idea of bravery for the past few days. It’s interesting isn’t it, that you can be very, very brave in one minute and in the next minute inhale the deepest breath of fear you’ve ever had. My emotions, regrets, longings for healing, epic battles they are all woven together like an intricate blanket. They are simultaneous.
I tried to explain this last night to someone as I talked through making a mistake of gargantuan proportions. How could I possibly nail down a singular motive? How could I possibly articulate to someone I’ve hurt that one moment I fought to be brave and the next I allowed selfishness to reign supreme? You try to explain this and the more your bumble and jumble for words the more naked you realize you are.
My friend Rena & I were discussing Brene Brown’s quote in her book Daring Greatly: “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.” I’ve been VERY vulnerable in the past few days. Things have been tough, so I’ve let folks into my messy truth. I have a group of 10 close friends who’ve been on a private email list for the last 2 years called my “Aaronites,” based on Aaron who upheld the arms of Moses. This little group has loved, supported & prayed me through my darkest hours. When I’m 100% honest with my Aaronites I feel awash with a vulnerability hangover. Naked. I am scared. I could vomit. To them, perhaps it feels like courage, it reads like truth. To me, it feels like HORROR & reads like a frackin’ Lifetime movie.
But Be Brave!, Brene’ Brown keeps telling us everywhere her name pops up. I began sharing my fears about writing vulnerably in these last 6 months mostly because it does affect me. What I thought was a ‘lil harmless blogging won’t hurt. No. No. No. It is actually terrifying. When I articulated this again on Twitter the other day, many of you told me, (as you always do you wonderful-people-you) to keep sharing my vulnerable truths, recognizing the power and depth of authentic vulnerability. How novel.
When I read this frightening level of vulnerability from blogging friend, Alise I went into terror mode for her. I.E. Dear God, please don’t let anyone be mean to her so help me! At once, I judged her, got over it, had compassion on her, loved her, judged myself, had compassion on myself, loved me. I felt that complex interwoven conundrum I spoke of earlier…the simultaneous emotions that makes me feel my emotional complexities are too much for my own good.
Where I landed though? Love. Love for both us. I read her vulnerability as both truth and courage and damn, I respect her for sharing that. And what in God’s name can I judge her for as if I’m sinless and able to cast the first stone? Jesus himself was actually sinless and not only did he NOT cast the first stone (as he very well could have) but he encouraged health & wholeness, acceptance & grace. So do I.
I was tempted to close up shop here (again, I know, I know). I’m fearful to become fakey-fakerson or more vulnerable than needed. I have made some epic mistakes. I don’t know how I will get through this time. How could I possibly PARTICIPATE IN A HOBBY? In Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own voice everyone say, “there’s no hobbying in crisis time! There’s no hobbying in crisis!” But what if I just shared what I’m going through without any details? Is it even possible for Grace Biskie to restrain in that way, y’all? We’ll see, eh? Truthfully, I don’t want any of us to miss out on good things that can come from writing vulnerably naked.
Yes, it scares some people. Some people say, “scale back, Playa, scale back,” but I haven’t regretted one single thing I’ve ever put out there (outside a few unfortunate sentences & the early bad writing).
In that way, I own my journey, I own my choices and I own the words I’ve chosen to articulate them.
I’m not going to let my poor choices, the ways others have hurt me, trauma, pain, life’s lemons or any other thing keep me from doing something life giving for me: communicating with others. No, not even when I’m at my lowest low. Now, I may let those things keep from working out or resisting eating my 6th cookie, but for today’s complex moment I’m choosing vulnerability with a dash of courage on the side. And I am naked like the woman caught in adultery.
Jesus is not afraid of that.